Primary election: Adams Township Trustee


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The primary election is Tuesday, May 6. Local candidates in contested races were contacted by The Times-Post editorial staff. Below are short features about the candidates for Adams Township Trustee.

Jill Fesler (R)

Jill Fesler has been a Madison County resident for 23 years and has been employed most of her adult life as a bookkeeper. The 62-year-old mother and grandmother said she graduated from Richmond High School and Ivy Tech community hospital before obtaining her license as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She has been married 28 years.

Currently, she is involved in bookkeeping with a state agency but worked in previous years in accounting with retail management for six years and bookkeeper for the grain elevator in Emporia for 12 years, Fesler explained.

“This is my first time to run for public office, but I was approached by someone in the community and asked to consider it,” Fesler said. Before jumping into the campaign, Fesler said she attended some board of directors meetings for the township to get an idea for how things should be done.

The years she and her husband spent in their own business helped identify some of her strengths, Fesler added.

During her years as a state employee, Fesler said she spent some months in the offices dealing with emergency assistance, which gave her some understanding of  dealing with the issues of poor relief that are part of the responsibility of the trustee.

“I also want to serve the community and township to make sure the money is spent properly and things get done properly,” Fesler concluded.

David Padgett (R)

David Padgett, 63, said being responsive to the people and exercising good financial management is essential in public service.

Padgett said this is first run for public office and he chose the office his wife, Melinda, held for several years before.

“I have been a clerk for her and have learned from her. Now it seems like the responsible thing to do,” he replied when asked why he ran.

Padgett was a General Motors employee through Guide for many years.

“Budgeting and that sort of thing has always been a part of my job,” Padgett explained. “I try to understand there are a lot of problems people deal with in life and I try to have empathy when they are going through troubles because part of the trustee’s duties is to assist people in need.”

Padgett said he graduated from Markleville High School and Purdue University where he earned a degree in industrial management and business economics. He and Melinda have been married 37 years and have three children and one grandchild.

“The most important task of the trustee is to be responsible to the taxpayers and, if there is a problem, to help in defining the problem and finding a resolution,” Padgett said.

Sound fiscal management and strong representation for the taxpayers is what Padgett said his office will be about if he is elected.   

James Wallace (R)

His still on the candidates list, but he told the Times-Post he has decided not to run for office because his family circumstances have changed.

 Sam Weist (R)

Sam Weist, 48, is running for the office of Adams Township Trustee. He said he has lived in Adams Township for 24 years and has been the chief of police for the Town of Markleville for 22 of those years. He also is director of the sewer maintenance and volunteers as head of the street department.

“I believe I can serve Adams Township in a fair and impartial manner,” Weist said.

He said his training in the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and the Indianapolis Police Academy as well as his years on the job as a public servant will be an asset in dealing with the people and issues facing the township trustee.

In addition to serving people in financial need, Weist said the Trustee also is responsible for maintaining cemeteries.

“We have pioneer graves that people don’t even know where they are. We have some from the 1840s, and I want to see that they get fixed up,” Weist commented.

Weist said he would search for grants and other funding sources to restore some of the sites.

Weist said he graduated from Howe High School and attended Vincennes University before going to the Law Enforcement Academy.  He also was involved in the Indianapolis Yacht Club for several years. He retired from the Indiana Department of Corrections.

“If elected, I will represent all Adams Township residents fairly and equitably,” Weist said.

Weist said his connections as a police officer in the town and surrounding areas will be a help in the office.

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